Clinton linked with wealthy socialite

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THE tangled love life of Bill Clinton was again under the microscope yesterday when he was romantically linked with a glamorous blonde.

A magazine photo showed the former president of the United States in an intimate pose with the Canadian socialite Lisa Belzberg, 38.

They were photographed by Newsweek in front of a refrigerator at her mansion in Katonah, New York. It rekindled long-standing speculation about the pair, who have been spotted together at a number of functions over the past year.

According to the New York Post, Ms Belzberg, a millionairess separated from her husband, the Seagram alcohol heir Matthew Bronfman, about a month ago following a liaison with Mr Clinton.

The newspaper went on to claim that by the end of February, Mr Bronfman had moved out of the house in Katonah where Ms Belzberg lives with their three children.

"Friends were stunned to see the photo of Clinton in front of Lisa’s stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator with Jonathan Alter’s cover story on the ex-president," the paper reported. The article claimed Mr Clinton and Ms Belzberg were involved in an encounter last month.

"She was seen flirting with Clinton at the Super Bowl party he hosted in his Harlem offices," it added. At the time Mr Clinton joked of his relationship with Ms Belzberg: "She married a guy worth $6 billion, but she still likes to flirt with me."

A spokeswoman for Ms Belzberg, who runs the educational organisation PENCIL [Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning], insisted that she has not been involved in another relationship since her split from Mr Bronfman. "There is no-one else," she said bluntly.

A Newsweek spokesman said the journalist who wrote the article was unaware of any relationship. Ms Belzberg is a business associate of Prince Andrew, after meeting him at a charity dinner last year.

She has donated thousands of dollars to a charity group for which the Duke of York is an unofficial ambassador, hosting fundraising dinners and visiting camps set up for youngsters to enjoy games and outdoor pursuits.

But insiders say that it is Mr Clinton, closer to home, who has won the heart of the ice-cool blonde. Since his wife, Hillary, became a senator in Washington and his daughter, Chelsea, left for Oxford University, Mr Clinton has been living alone in their Chappaqua home. Ms Belzberg lives just ten miles away.

Ironically, it was Mr Bronfman who originally classed Mr Clinton as his friend. The pair enjoyed games of golf at local clubs and they got together at countless fund raisers and charity events.

Ms Belzberg, who dated such well-connected New Yorkers as Andrew Cuomo and Michael Fuchs before marrying Mr Bronfman in 1992, was said to have tired of playing the "little wife at home" role while Mr Bronfman was busy with his business empire.

Initially she threw herself into charity work but it wasn’t enough to keep the home fires sparking, it was claimed.

Ms Belzberg won an educational heroes award from the Clinton administration. In 1998, New York magazine named her one of the ten most influential New Yorkers, Crain’s picked her out for a "40 under 40" list and Redbook ran a piece on her under the headline "Mothers and Shakers".